The debut single from Northern Ireland’s ARBORIST is “Twisted Arrow” featuring Kim Deal from The Breeders/Pixies on backing vocals. Fronted by singer songwriter, Mark McCambridge, Arborist’s music is measured and mature, while remaining starkly modern. Centred around McCambridge’s soaring vocal and unique lyrical style, it speaks of bleak truths (Leonard Cohen, Bill Callahan, Jason Molina) but delivers them with an assured soulfulness (Sam Cooke, Al Green).
The video for the track was shot by renowned director Stephen Agnew (The Vaccines, The Cribs, Drenge, Royal Blood), who grew up across the road from Mark McCambridge in Ballymena. The clip itself is set amongst Belfast’s Country and Western community.
As Stephen Agnew explains:
“The project came from a shared interest in presenting this strange, super specific set of interests and wanting to present the participants as the wonderful colourful and real people they are. We grew up enveloped by people who adored America and its culture. (There is obviously a massive connection between the two places). There are taxi drivers in Stetsons with “keep ‘er country” embellished across the rear window of their cars and line dancing clubs. The shoot was a total eye opener. We met and filmed so many wonderful people in strange and sublime places. It was a genuinely fantastic experience!”
Mark McCambride adds: “The video was shot around various locations in Northern Ireland. We wanted to capture the curious underbelly of American culture here; from riding American quarter horses ‘country style’ to ceremonial flag-bearers, gunslingers and line-dancers. But the real emphasis was on the personalities involved set against the incongruous backdrop of the North.”
“Twisted Arrow” features the unmistakable harmonies of KIM DEAL. Her hushed and plaintive vocal adds weight to a familial tale of detachment and is the perfect counterpoint to McCambridge’s sharp delivery. It was recorded during dark winter nights in Belfast and Dayton, Ohio – the latter as the new year arrived – and you can feel it in the lyrical violin and lean, crisp production.